Who Becomes A Science Teacher Educator in Turkey and the United States of America: A Comparative Study

Korkmazi H.



While the value of studying the teacher educators in order to identify differentiating characteristics across various content areas and factors related to reform efforts has been recognized by various authors, the literature indicates that relatively little research has been conducted in this area on science teacher educators. This study was designed to gain a current picture of the characteristics of science teacher educators in Turkey and in the United States focusing on demographic as well as work load variables and compare the current status of these variables to previous findings. Mixed method, including qualitative and quantitative methods, was used in this study. Data was obtained from web resources. A coding system was developed to collect data relevant to identifying characteristics of science teacher educators based on previous studies. The coding system was designed to gather data in five major areas (1) demographic and background information, (2) teaching responsibilities during an average year, (3) non teaching responsibilities, (4) scholarly activity, associated with research projects and publications, and (5) evaluation system and standards for professional development.. From both countries, ten colleges of education/schools of education were selected for this study. The results of this study indicated that the science educators in both countries have different characteristics in terms of five major areas. The actual content of the standard for science teacher educators is an important part of the study. In this context, this paper discusses whether setting explicit standards for science teacher educators would help or hinder efforts to improve the quality of teaching, touching on the viewpoints of student teachers versus professional organizations regarding standards of quality and exploring the implied and explicit standards of academic institutions for science teacher educators in the U. S., in comparison with the less-defined standards currently present in the Turkish educational system.